The organization, founded by industry veteran Michael Sodini, to open the discussion between mental health professionals and the firearms industry and find solutions.
(January 2019) – Walk The Talk America (WTTA), to develop programs in the interest of the gun community and protecting gun rights while working with professionals form the mental health community. Their booth (# 2530) at SHOT Show will be staffed by WTTA Board Members, Volunteers and their collaborators from the Mental Health Community.
WTTA was founded last year to help raise awareness of mental health issues and the resources that are available to gun owners to help them as needed without fear of anti-gun agendas or abuses that could affect their gun rights. Free and Anonymous Mental Health Screenings, powered by Mental Health America (MHA) are available through their website at walkthetalkamerica.org.
WTTA will also be unveiling a new program for Range Management and Staff Members to help them learn to identify potential issues that their customers and range members might be dealing with and how to introduce resources to them or accommodate temporary and voluntary firearms storage for them. This program is being supported by GunVault and MHA.
Michael Sodini, of Eagle Imports, Inc., founded WTTA in June of 2018 after a discussion with a non-gun owner asking about how the firearms community works the mental health world to address areas of overlapping concern. He realized that he didn’t have a good answer and wanted to become part of the solution.
“Why haven’t we done more to help,” Sodini thought. “I know so many good people in this industry and contrary to popular belief, they do care when there is a tragedy. I started wondering why are we so quick to dismiss it as mental health and not do anything if our hearts are broken too? Then I thought about how a lot of people in my industry are usually too busy trying to do damage control from the backlash we continuously receive after theses traumatic events, while also grieving in their own way.”
Sodini reached out to a few leaders in the firearms industry to see what they thought to the idea of a non-profit organized by people who were clearly pro-gun to work with those outside of our community who might have resources and ideas that we haven’t had ourselves to address concerns about suicide and gun violence. Kenyon Gleason, President of NASGW, and Rob Pincus, Executive Vice President of Second Amendment Organization, were two of the first to pledge their support to his idea. They currently serve on the WTTA Board of Trustees and will be spending time at the booth during SHOT Show.
WTTA’s booth, #2530, was provided free of charge by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), in order to support their mission. Several other industry companies and individuals have pledged support to the new organization already as well, including Armscor, Bryan Tucker (Davidsons), Laurie Aronson (Lipsey’s), Brand Avalanche and Guns for Everyone. Those interested in working with or supporting WTTA’s efforts can donate or contact them through their website at wtta.org.
About Walk the Talk America
Our mission is to fund research and development for outreach and promotion of mental health to reduce the misconceptions and prejudices that exist when it comes to mental illness and firearms. We believe we can be a catalyst for change by working with experts in the mental health industry. www.walkthetalkamerica.org